Arsenal predicted XI vs Sporting: Mikel Arteta to drop first-team regular as midfielder is passed fit to play

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The Gunners will be hoping to transfer their impressive domestic form into their European match on Thursday night in the first leg tie.

Manager Mikel Arteta has some key decisions to make when it comes to his team selection for the Europa League round of 16 clash.

Arteta’s side face Portuguese giants Sporting and are expected to rotate with a crucial Premier League away match coming up on Sunday against Fulham.

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“Everybody wants to play,” Arteta said in his pre-match press conference.

“It’s true that we have wanted to rotate certain players but they have been injured and unavailable, and that may be the case again tomorrow.

“Sometimes it’s difficult, but players have to deserve to play the minutes and being fair in football is very difficult. You have to be really good at communicating your decisions and trying to get players to understand what they do, but at the end of the day, you have to look after what’s best for the team.

“We want everyone to feel important and we’re going to try to make them feel like that.”

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Matt Turner could start between the sticks while Takehiro Tomiyasu is likely to start at right back, with Rob Holding a possiblity to feature in defence alongside Jakub Kiwior or Gabriel.

Reports ahead of the game suggested Fabio Vieira could miss out through illness, but Arteta has confirmed the Portuguese midfielder is fit to face a side he knows well.

After assisting and scoring a last minute winner against Everton at the weekend, Reiss Nelson will be hoping to produce an impact if he’s given the opportunity to play from the start.

Gabriel Martinelli is set to lead the line while January signing Leandro Trossard misses out through injury.

Predicted XI: Turner, Tomiyasu, Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Xhaka, Jorginho, Smith Rowe, Odegaard, Nelson, Martinelli.

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